perk

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See also: pērk

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From perquisite, by abbreviation.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • perq (less common)

Noun[edit]

perk (plural perks)

  1. (informal) Perquisite.
    Free coffee is one of the perks of the job.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From percolate (verb) and percolator (noun), by abbreviation.

Verb[edit]

perk (third-person singular simple present perks, present participle perking, simple past and past participle perked)

  1. (transitive) To make (coffee) in a percolator or a drip coffeemaker.
    I’ll perk some coffee.
  2. (intransitive) Of coffee: to be produced by heated water seeping (“percolating”) through coffee grounds.
    • 1996, Lewis, Sherry, This Montana Home, Harlequin Books, page 288:
      While the coffee perked, she flipped idly through a gardening magazine and scanned an article on the war against aphids.
    The coffee is perking.
Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

perk (plural perks)

  1. A percolator, particularly of coffee.

Etymology 3[edit]

The origin is uncertain.

Verb[edit]

perk (third-person singular simple present perks, present participle perking, simple past and past participle perked)

  1. (transitive) To make trim or smart; to straighten up; to erect; to make a jaunty or saucy display of.
    • 1785, William Cowper, The Task, London: J. Johnson, Book 6, p. 247,[1]
      [the squirrel] whisks his brush
      And perks his ears, and stamps and scolds aloud
    • 1924, James Oliver Curwood, A Gentleman of Courage, Toronto: Copp Clark, Chapter 4,[2]
      The blue jay was having a fit, and the sapsucker perked his bright-eyed little head at him not more than a dozen feet away.
  2. (intransitive) To appear from below or behind something, emerge, pop up, poke out.
    • 1640, John Gower (translator), Ovid’s Festivalls, Cambridge, Book 4, April, p. 77,[3]
      The heads of plants above the crack’d ground perk:
    • 1753, Samuel Richardson, The History of Sir Charles Grandison, London, for the author, Volume 1, Letter 22, p. 159,[4]
      A white Paris net sort of cap, glittering with spangles, and incircled by a chaplet of artificial flowers, with a little white feather perking from the left ear, is to be my head-dress.
    • 1842, Robert Browning, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” in Lyrics of Life, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1866, pp. 35-36, lines 152-153,[5]
      [] suddenly up the face
      Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
    • 1937 Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana, London: Macmillan, Part 4, “Kavar,” p. 159,[6]
      A strong warm wind carried a sound of chopping with it and a rustle of dead plane-leaves; through those leaves perked the green crooks of young ferns.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To exalt oneself; to bear oneself loftily.
    • 1574, Arthur Golding (translator), Sermons of Master John Calvin, upon the Booke of Job, London: Lucas Harison and George Byshop, Sermon 38, The first upon the tenth Chapter,[7]
      For whereof commeth thys hypocrisie in the popedome, that men shall preache free will, merits, and satisfactions, and set vp their bristles in suche wise, and beare themselues in hande that they may come perking before God, yea and preace thither lyke shamelesse strumpets.
    • 1683, Isaac Barrow, A Treatise of the Pope’s Supremacy, London: Brabazon Aylmer, Supposition 5, p. 140,[8]
      [] our Lord had never any such design, to set up a sort of men in such distance above their brethren; to perk over them, and suck them of their goods by tricks []
Derived terms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

perk (comparative more perk, superlative most perk)

  1. (obsolete) Smart; trim; spruce; jaunty; vain.
    • 1579, Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender, London: Hugh Singleton, “Februarie,”[9]
      My ragged rontes all shiver and shake,
      As doen high Towers in an earthquake:
      They wont in the wind wagge their wrigle tailes,
      Perke as Peacock: but nowe it auales.
    • 1640, John Gower (translator), Ovid’s Festivalls, Cambridge, Book 4, April, p. 96,[10]
      All, joy’d at th’ omen, their foundation laid:
      And in short time a perk new wall is made.

Etymology 4[edit]

The origin is uncertain.

Verb[edit]

perk (third-person singular simple present perks, present participle perking, simple past and past participle perked)

  1. (dated) To peer; to look inquisitively.
    • 1835, Charles Dickens, “The Election for Beadle” in Sketches by Boz, London: John Macrone, 3rd edition, 1837, Volume 1, p. 32,[11]
      He is a tall, thin, bony man, with an interrogative nose, and little restless perking eyes, which appear to have been given him for the sole purpose of peeping into other people’s affairs with.

Etymology 5[edit]

From Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French perquer.

Verb[edit]

perk (third-person singular simple present perks, present participle perking, simple past and past participle perked)

  1. (obsolete) To perch.
    • 1591, Robert Greene, Greenes Farewell to Folly, London: T. Gubbin & T. Newman,[12]
      Then sir, let me say, that Mineruas owle was proude, for perking vnder [h]ir golden target []
    • 1633, Francis Quarles, “On the Infancie of our Saviour” in Divine Fancies Digested into Epigrammes, Meditations, and Observations, London: John Marriot, p. 3,[13]
      O! what a ravishment ’thad beene, to see
      Thy little Saviour perking on thy Knee!
    • 1779, Samuel Jackson Pratt, Shenstone-Green: or, the New Paradise Lost, London: R. Baldwin, Volume 1, Chapter 24, pp. 205-206,[14]
      With respect to walking, it is the favourite exercise of my life; I sometimes divert myself with objects on the road, which, my being on a level with them, offers to observation; and yet, which, had I been perked up beyond my natural height on the back of a horse, would have been all overlooked.
    • 1815, Leigh Hunt, The Descent of Liberty, a Mask, London: Gale, Curtis & Fenner, “The Fourth Song of Peace,” p. 64,[15]
      Laugh out in the loose green jerkin
      That’s fit for a goddess to work in,
      With shoulders brown,
      And the wheaten crown
      About thy temples perking.

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Dutch *perrik, *parrik, from Proto-Germanic *parrukaz. Compare also park and German Pferch.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

perk n (plural perken, diminutive perkje n)

  1. a delimited piece of ground, e.g. a flowerbed

Derived terms[edit]